Application Ends for New Mentorship Program from Gannon Center

Gannon Graduate Leaders, a brand new graduate student specific leadership program, closed its application April 3.

The Gannon Center for Women in Leadership has a new mentorship program, Gannon Graduate Leaders, designed specifically to help woman graduate students advance their leadership and professional skills.

The new program was founded by Dr. Paula Tallman, assistant professor of anthropology and one of two Gannon Faculty Fellows for 2023. The application period for the program ended April 3.

Before the application window ended, eight students applied, according to Tallman. Applicants will be notified about their status April 10, and any graduate students who missed the due date but are still interested in the program should reach out to Tallman.

The first Gannon Graduate Leaders program will start in the fall 2023 semester and require a time commitment of around six hours a month for coaching sessions, readings and personal reflections. The program is directed at educating and fostering women leaders interested in spearheading social and environmental justice.

Five applicants from any school or program at Loyola will be selected. Those selected will then meet once a week throughout the semester either in groups or in individual coaching sessions. In these sessions they will discuss short readings on leadership and document their self-discovery process, according to the program’s website.

The program was created by Tallman and she will also be directing the program and coaching participants next year. Paula Carney, the director of grants and scholarships in the School of Social Work, assisted in the development of the program and will also be coaching the participants.

“I literally had a dream about it, and I woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning and I typed the entire proposal in an hour or two,” Tallman said. “Which was a pretty quick turnaround for this. I just kinda channeled it.”

The idea for the program arose from a similar graduate fellowship program Tallman attended while earning her doctorate from Northwestern University. 

“Through that program, I learned about my own strengths, I learned about what leadership theory was, how you actually do coaching, and it was a life-changing experience for me,” Tallman said. “I want to bring that to Loyola and offer that type of experience to the students here.”

Gabrielle Buckley, the director of the Gannon Center, said she is particularly excited about expanding the Gannon Center beyond Gannon Scholars, the Center’s flagship leadership program available only to undergraduate students.

“Paula Tallman is a firecracker,” Buckley said. “We’re delighted to have her and her creativity create this program for us. We’re excited to see graduate students here, and I think that it’s going to demonstrate to our undergrads what others are doing, to encourage them to move forward in their academic lives and consider graduate school, especially at Loyola.”

Tallman said she first pitched the new course to the Gannon Center as a part of her application to the Gannon Center’s Faculty Fellows program. She said originally intended to create something for undergraduate students but pivoted to a graduate program because of an abundance of existing undergraduate opportunities and very limited graduate ones.

“What we have not had before is a graduate student program,” Buckley said. “Paula’s program brings that into the Gannon Center. So we co-sponsored programs with graduate students — for example, the law school, the medical school — we program with them, partner with them, but we don’t have ourselves a graduate student program until now.”

Both Tallman and Carney were involved in the development of the program from the proposal to active involvement in running it. Once Gannon Graduate Leaders launches later this year, they will both coach and mentor the five participants as they progress through the course.

“I think knowing oneself and having a firm idea of recognizing your creative potential and recognizing your personal potential and your professional potential, can only help set the stage for the rest of life,” Carney said.

Featured image by Holden Green | The Phoenix

Hunter Minné

Hunter Minné